Travel Planning and Organization



I am excited to share a travel article by my colleague, Pierrette Ashcroft, founder of GetOrganizedDC. She has more than 20 years of business experience organizing events and providing innovative solutions in homes and offices. She is committed to continuing her education and training to best serve her client’s organizing and productivity needs.

How I Prepare For Travel

A detailed packing list helps me plan and pack efficiently enough to fit everything in a carry-on. I recently switched from spreadsheet style lists to the app Packing Pro.

There is more that goes into a vacation than the things that fit in my suitcase.

There is more that goes into a vacation than the things that fit in my suitcase. Click To Tweet

For trip planning I used a couple different websites.

On Trip Adviser we found a gem of a hotel in Stockholm. It’s been a great resource on several trips especially reading other travelers’ experiences.

Some people still need to hold a map in their hand. Crumpled Maps are made from an indestructible material that is lightweight, waterproof and meant to be scrunched up and stuffed in a bag. No more struggling to fold a paper version.

A few years ago my credit card was denied a mile from my house when I bought gas. Why? Purchases I made in Philadelphia triggered warning flags that my card was stolen. Lesson learned: always call my credit card company before traveling to let them know the dates, cities, states or countries I will be visiting.

No problems since but I still make copies of my credit cards, front and back. My account number is on one side and the phone numbers in case of a problem are on the other. Don’t store copies with the cards and maybe leave a copy with someone you trust.

Thanks Pierrette and happy travels to you all!

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Linda Samuels on July 8, 2019 at 8:48 am

    YAY!!! It’s that time of year with vacations and traveling happening. These are excellent tips to help make our much anticipated time away go more smoothly. One thing that helps me is at the earliest stage of trip planning; I create both an electronic and paper file folder. Confirmations get stored in both places. In the paper file which I take with me, I toss in specific notes, travel info, packing lists, and ideas. As I get closer to the trip, I refine the folder and add repositionable tabs to create sections like “Flight,” “Ground Transfers,” “Hotel,” “Pack Lists,” and more. I do this for both personal and business travel.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 8, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Wow Linda. You are an organized travel. Why am I not surprised. I also like to have everything in order before I travel. I don’t know how some people go with the flow.

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on July 8, 2019 at 9:56 am

    I’m going to be using these travel tips soon. I also take a picture of my passport and take the copy with me when I travel internationally. I leave the passport copy in a different place than where the original is. Thanks for sharing!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 8, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Good idea Sabrina. You can never be too safe.

  3. Seana Turner on July 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Keeping copies of important travel documents, credit cards, passports, etc. is such a good idea. Why not keep copies in a firesafe box at home, and then scan them into a secure digital location so you can access them when you need them, right? I don’t use paper maps anymore, but I have to admit that those crumpled maps are pretty neat:)

    • Janet Schiesl on July 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      I also digitize my travel documents. So much easier! I love old maps, but love GPS more.

  4. Pierrette on July 16, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    A friend traveling to Italy in June thanked me for my tip to carry copies of her passport and credit cards. Pickpockets snatched her wallet in Florence. Her vacation was ‘interurpted’ but she didn’t have to spend days recovering. Digital copies are great but the consulate appreciated the paper copies she presented. Not all parts of the world are digitally progressive. We all think we won’t be a victim. We probably won’t be but it’s easier to enjoy the trip if we’re prepared. Happy travels.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 17, 2019 at 8:33 am

      Hi Pierrette. Yes, this is good advice. A few minutes of extra preparation can save a vacation and my guess is a lot of people just don’t think it will happen to them. I do think that paper is still king in this type to situation. Thanks for the wise words.

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